People in California who are dealing with serious financial issues or conflict with former partners over the children may wonder how to change or end their obligation to pay child support. Most of the time, when people want to cease paying child support, there are other actions that can help them achieve their underlying goals, especially when the issue is a conflict over visitation or parenting choices made by a former spouse.

However, in some cases, people are desperate because their financial situations have changed. Child support orders are issued based on a person’s income. Disability or the loss of a high-paying job may mean that parents are no longer able to meet their monthly child support obligations and facing mounting debts. However, when people simply stop paying, they could face even more severe consequences. Instead, parents who are unable to pay their support obligations can go back to family court for a child support modification to reflect their changed financial circumstances.

In some situations, individuals may want to withhold child support if their former partners refuse to allow them to access their visitation or custody time with the children, or it seems like the money is being squandered on alcohol or drugs. In these cases, it is also better to go to family court for help. Visitation and child support are not linked, so parents are still responsible for paying even if their visits are denied. However, the court can step in to stop the interference with the parent-child relationship.

Child support is a serious obligation, but some parents may face unique circumstances that reflect changes in their lives from the time of the divorce or support order. A family law attorney can work with a parent to seek a child support modification or a change to the custody order.